Gautam Dasgupta Jaal LP (Super, 1987)

If you are looking here for some insight on Bollywood soundtracks, you are at the wrong place. Not only is my knowledge of this genre of music surface level, but there is a little disclaimer on the back of this record stating "Not from the original film soundtrack"! So what we have here is some kind of Bollywood cash in. Great. Actually, great! Really, it makes no difference to me whether this is authentic Bollywood or some Bombay back alley rip off. Whatever it is, there are three killer tunes here.

About fifteen years ago, I picked up a Bollywood soundtrack because the record cover was too good to pass up. The image was some Indian Fabio-type riding an elephant which was about to stomp on some dude who looked like a cross between Gandhi and Warren Oates in The Wild Bunch. A couple babes in saris looked at the elephant rider with admiration. Lucky me that the record was as wild as the sleeve. Hooked, I hopped into my truck and went to every Indian grocery store in town, asking for music soundtracks. There usually was a small box. I flipped through records and one or two or five looked good, I bought them. After a while I became familiar with a few names and expanded my trips up the Valley to Yuba City, where there is a sizable Indian & Sikh population. My pickings were okay. That is to say, I got some good records, but all in all my total haul was less than 75. Vinyl had just transitioned to CD and I was getting the last of the these store's vinyl. A year later I did another sweep and encountered not one record.

Here are three songs from the non-soundtrack called Jaal. One of the things I love about these "Bollywood" songs is that even more so than American movie soundtracks, the rule here is whatever sounds work. The composers and musicians do have their standard routines, but when they stray a bit from the typical Bollywood dance tune or romantic song and incorporate other styles, the mixture is a bit more daring than say Leonard Bernstein. Raina Bawari Bahayee Re has a nice stripped down, almost dub sound to it. Rapadi Ki Topadi switches things up a few times in the song, but the foundation is a great minimal drum/vocal thing. And Rei Mere Doston starts with a Morricone western bit and then slides into a more conventional mode though without losing the dusty sound. The music was written by Gautam Dasgupta. The artists name appear before the song titles.

Jall it's amazing!!!
(i really like your blog, congratulations)
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